Gold dust and ping pong balls share one thing in common: freight class

Transcript

What Do Gold Dust and Ping Pong Balls Have in Common?

Gold dust and ping balls might seem like two items that couldn’t be more different. But in the world of LTL shipping, they’re basically the same thing. Why? Two words: freight class.

 

What is Freight Class?

The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC), created and maintained by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), is a system used to universally classify LTL shipments. NMFC codes provide standardized evaluations of the billions of commodities shipped on LTL trucks each year. Because LTL shipping involves a wide variety of products with different densities, liabilities, and handling considerations grouped together on a single trailer, NMFC numbers are necessary to provide the common ground for carriers to price freight rates and determine the logistics needed for efficient LTL shipping.

There are 18 possible NMFC classifications for LTL freight, the lowest being 50 and the highest being 500. Though a variety of factors are considered, as a general rule, freight that is dense and easy to handle and store with minimal liability will be classified on the low end of the spectrum. In contrast, freight that is fragile, uniquely shaped, or highly susceptible to damage or theft will be classified on the higher end.

 

How is Freight Class Determined?

Freight class is assigned to an item based on its transportability. This includes factors such as weight, dimensions, density, storage capability, ease of handling, monetary value, and risk of theft, damage, and spoilage. The four primary metrics that determine freight class are:   

Density. Density is the measurable amount of space needed for an item in relation to its weight—usually, the denser the item, the lower the freight classification.

Handling. Freight requiring special accommodations when handled will result in a higher freight classification. This can be due to its weight, shape, fragility, or hazardous properties that may require a higher level of care beyond the standard equipment commonly used to load or unload LTL freight.            

Stowability. Stowability refers to how easily an item fits into the rest of a load. Some types of freight are subject to government regulation or specific carrier policies, limiting what other types of cargo they can ride with. Items that are hazardous, flammable, perishable, particularly heavy, or that awkwardly protrude may not be able to be shipped with certain other materials, resulting in a higher freight classification.           

Liability. Liability refers to the value of an item and its potential to be damaged or lost during transportation. Items with a higher risk of theft, accidental damage, or may cause damage to other cargo during shipping will result in a higher freight class. Perishable or hazardous freight will also carry potential liability concerns.

 

So, What Does All That Have to Do with Gold Dust and Ping Pong Balls?

Both gold dust and ping pong balls are examples of the highest and most expensive freight classification, freight class 500. And by looking at the two items in the context of transportability, you can see why they might be considered so similar from an LTL shipping perspective. Gold dust is expensive, delicate, requires careful handling, and has a high risk of potential theft due to its monetary value. Ping pong balls are extremely light, fragile, and can easily become damaged by other items in a shipment or through careless handling procedures. Because of how challenging these two items are to transport, both of them are classified as freight class 500. That means that the cost to ship these two items with an LTL carrier will be expensive. 

As you can see, the characteristics that determine an item’s freight class can significantly impact LTL shipping considerations and the overall cost of transportation. When shipping LTL, it’s essential to pay close attention to freight class to ensure you can find the right carrier equipped to safely transport your shipment at a rate suitable for your shipping budget. For more information and advice regarding freight class and shipping in general, contact the LTL freight experts at Koho.

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

What Do Gold Dust and Ping Pong Balls Have in Common?

Gold dust and ping balls might seem like two items that couldn’t be more different. But in the world of LTL shipping, they’re basically the same thing. Why? Two words: freight class.

 

What is Freight Class?

The National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC), created and maintained by the National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), is a system used to universally classify LTL shipments. NMFC codes provide standardized evaluations of the billions of commodities shipped on LTL trucks each year. Because LTL shipping involves a wide variety of products with different densities, liabilities, and handling considerations grouped together on a single trailer, NMFC numbers are necessary to provide the common ground for carriers to price freight rates and determine the logistics needed for efficient LTL shipping.

There are 18 possible NMFC classifications for LTL freight, the lowest being 50 and the highest being 500. Though a variety of factors are considered, as a general rule, freight that is dense and easy to handle and store with minimal liability will be classified on the low end of the spectrum. In contrast, freight that is fragile, uniquely shaped, or highly susceptible to damage or theft will be classified on the higher end.

 

How is Freight Class Determined?

Freight class is assigned to an item based on its transportability. This includes factors such as weight, dimensions, density, storage capability, ease of handling, monetary value, and risk of theft, damage, and spoilage. The four primary metrics that determine freight class are:   

Density. Density is the measurable amount of space needed for an item in relation to its weight—usually, the denser the item, the lower the freight classification.

Handling. Freight requiring special accommodations when handled will result in a higher freight classification. This can be due to its weight, shape, fragility, or hazardous properties that may require a higher level of care beyond the standard equipment commonly used to load or unload LTL freight.            

Stowability. Stowability refers to how easily an item fits into the rest of a load. Some types of freight are subject to government regulation or specific carrier policies, limiting what other types of cargo they can ride with. Items that are hazardous, flammable, perishable, particularly heavy, or that awkwardly protrude may not be able to be shipped with certain other materials, resulting in a higher freight classification.           

Liability. Liability refers to the value of an item and its potential to be damaged or lost during transportation. Items with a higher risk of theft, accidental damage, or may cause damage to other cargo during shipping will result in a higher freight class. Perishable or hazardous freight will also carry potential liability concerns.

 

So, What Does All That Have to Do with Gold Dust and Ping Pong Balls?

Both gold dust and ping pong balls are examples of the highest and most expensive freight classification, freight class 500. And by looking at the two items in the context of transportability, you can see why they might be considered so similar from an LTL shipping perspective. Gold dust is expensive, delicate, requires careful handling, and has a high risk of potential theft due to its monetary value. Ping pong balls are extremely light, fragile, and can easily become damaged by other items in a shipment or through careless handling procedures. Because of how challenging these two items are to transport, both of them are classified as freight class 500. That means that the cost to ship these two items with an LTL carrier will be expensive. 

As you can see, the characteristics that determine an item’s freight class can significantly impact LTL shipping considerations and the overall cost of transportation. When shipping LTL, it’s essential to pay close attention to freight class to ensure you can find the right carrier equipped to safely transport your shipment at a rate suitable for your shipping budget. For more information and advice regarding freight class and shipping in general, contact the LTL freight experts at Koho.

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